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Skin Depigmentation Activity of Crocus sativus Extract Cream


Abstract and Figures Abstract Purpose: To determine the antioxidant activity of Crucus sativus extract and its effect on human skin using a non-invasive probe mexameter. Methods: The antioxidant activity of C. sativus extract was determined using DPPH method. Water in oil (w/o) topical cream of C. sativus extract (3 %) was formulated and compared with the base (cream without extract). Both creams (formulation and base) were applied to the cheeks of 10 healthy human volunteers for a period of 8 weeks. Melanin and erythema values of skin were measured with a mexameter. Results: The antioxidant activity of the extract was 81 %. Change in the levels of skin melanin and erythema was -24.04 ± 3.23 and -13.57 ± 2.28, respectively, indicating that unlike the base, the formulation containing Crocus sativus extract produced significant (p ≤ 0.05) depigmentation and anti erythemic effect on human skin. Conclusion: Application of the formulation containing 3 % C. sativus extract to human skin may be useful in the management of melanoma. However, further studies are still required to ascertain this.
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Akhtar et al
Trop J Pharm Res, November 2014; 13(11):
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research November 2014; 13 (11): 1803-1808
ISSN: 1596-5996 (print); 1596-9827 (electronic)
© Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, Uni versity of Benin, Benin City, 300001 Nigeria.
All rights reserved.
Available online at
Original Research Article
Skin Depigmentation Activity of Crocus sativus Extract
Naveed Akhtar1, Haji Muhammad Shoaib Khan1, Shoaib Ashraf1, Imran Shair
Mohammad2* and Atif Ali3
Department of Pharmacy, The Islamia Univers ity of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
2Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, China P harmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, PR China,
3Department of Pharmacy, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
*For correspondence: Email: T el: +92-3458012087
Received: 12 June 2013 Revised accepted: 7 September 2014
Purpose: To determine the antioxidant activity of Crucus sativus extract and its effect on human skin
using a non-invasive probe mexameter.
Methods: The antioxidant activity of C. sativus extract was determined using DPPH method. Water in
oil (w/o) topical cream of C. sativus extract (3 %) was formulated and compared with the base (cream
without extract). Both creams (formulation and base) were applied to the cheeks of 10 healthy human
volunteers for a period of 8 weeks. Melanin and erythema values of skin were measured with a
Results: The antioxidant activity of the extract was 81 %. Change in the levels of skin melanin and
erythema was -24.04 ± 3.23 and -13.57 ± 2.28, respectively, indicating that unlike the base, the
formulation containing Crocus sativus extract produced significant (p 0.05) depigmentation and anti
erythemic effect on human skin.
Conclusion: Application of the formulation containing 3 % C. sativus extract to human skin may be
useful in the management of melanoma. However, further studies are still required to ascertain this.
Keywords: Antioxidant, Crocus sativus, Cream, Skin, Melanin, Erythema, Depigmentation
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Water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions offer a series of
significant benefits compared to traditional oil-in-
water (O/W) emulsions. By forming an occlusive
layer on the skin, they are efficient in reducing
water loss from the skin by evaporation. For this
reason they are widely used in formulations
targeting the needs of consumers with dry skin.
Their excellent water repellency makes them a
very attractive formulation basis for sun care and
color cosmetics formulations. Despite these
attractive benefits, the use of w/o emulsions has
been limited due to issues associated with
stability and a heavy skin feel resulting from high
oil content [1]. Nowadays, water in oil emulsions
are employed more widely in the treatment of dry
skin and for emollient application.
Emulsions of plant extracts containing
antioxidants have high potential as topical
applications in the management of certain skin
disorders, hence antioxidants of many plants are
already being incorporated into heterogeneous
system to achieve desirable cosmetic effects [2].
Crocus sativus is a perennial low growing
bulbous plant globular corm which produces 6 to
9 sessile leaves surrounded in lower part by 4 to
Akhtar et al
Trop J Pharm Res, November 2014; 13(11):
5 broad membranous scales. Many chemical
substances are present in saffron as carotenoids,
flavonoids, carbohydrates, mucilage,
monoterpenoids and 31 compounds have been
isolated from the petals of saffron [3]. The
antioxidant activity of Crocus sativus is due to the
presence of carotenoids, phenolics and
flavonoids [4,5].
The use of cosmetics can be safe if, no kind of
contact dermatitis is seen after their application
to skin. Environmental conditions such as
changes in temperature and humidity, and
consumer misuse are also vital factors in the
effective handling of cosmetic products. Saffron
also produces antiaging effects by decreasing
melanogenesis by inhibiting the activity of
tyrosinase [6]. Monoterpenoids, quercetin,
kaempferol, and other phenolic components of
saffron are responsible for this inhibition of
Dried stigmas of Crocus sativus linnus were used
as plant material. The plant part was collected in
the month of February from Kashmir. The
identification was done by Saeed Raza
Peerzada, Assistant Professor, at Cholistan
Institute of Desert Studies at The Islamia
University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur Pakistan;
voucher no. 233 was assigned to it and kept in
the herbarium, of the Department of Pharmacy,
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur,
Bahawalpur, Pakistan, under voucher number
For the preparation of emulsion, the extracts of
dried stigma of Crocus sativus were used. ABIL-
EM90 (emulsifying agent) was purchased from
Franken Chemical (Germany). Paraffin oil and
ethanol were purchased from Merk KgaA
Darmstadt, Germany. Distilled water was taken
from the Department of Pharmacy, IUB,
Preparation of Crocus sativus dried stigma
Extract of 5 g dried stigmas of Crocus sativus
was prepared by maceration. First, it was
powdered and then was introduced into beaker
contained 70 % ethanol and 30 % distilled water
to make the final volume 500 mL. The glass
beaker was sealed with aluminium foil and kept
at room temperature in dark for fourteen days.
Maceration was done in the dark to prevent
possible photodegradation. The beaker was
shaken for 10 min after every 24 h. Then filtration
of macerated extract was done through several
layers of muslin cloth. The filtrate initially
obtained was then passed through filter paper
(Whatman no. 1) for final filtration to remove fine
undissolved particles. Evaporation of filtrate was
done at 40 oC under v acuum using a rotary
evaporator. The evaporation process was
continued till concentrate reduced to one third of
the total volume used. The reddish coloured
extract so obtained was collected in glass beaker
and was sealed with aluminium foil and stored in
a refrigerator at 8 oC.
Preparation of water-in-oil emulsion
Emulsion (w/o) of the extract was made by the
addition of aqueous phase to oily phase with
continuous agitation. The oily phase used in the
preparation was paraffin oil and surfactant
(ABIL®EM 90) was heated up to 75 ± 1 oC, while
the aqueous phase which was distilled water was
heated to the same temperature. After heating,
aqueous phase was added to the oily phase drop
by drop. Stirring was continued at 2000 rpm by
the mechanical mixer for 15 min until all the
aqueous phase was added; 2 to 3 drops of rose
water (fragrance) were added during this stirring
time to give good fragrance to the emulsion. After
the complete addition of the aqueous phase, the
speed of the mixer was reduced steadily over the
next 15 to 20 min while cooling the emulsion to
room temperature to achieve complete homoge-
Preparation of emulsions
The oily phase, paraffin oil and surfactant
(ABIL®EM 90), was heated up to 75 ± 1 oC. At
the same time, the aqueous phase (water) was
heated to the same temperature and then the
extract added to it. The aqueous phase was
added to the oil phase drop by drop while stirring
at 2000 rpm with a mechanical mixer for 15 min
until the aqueous phase was completely added,
2 to 3 drops of rose water were added while
stirring to give the formulation a good fragrance.
After complete addition of the aqueous phase,
the speed of the mixer was reduced to 1000 rpm
for homogenization, for another period of 5 min,
thereafter 500 rpm for 5 min for complete
homogenization; the emulsion was then allowed
cool down to room temperature [7].
Determination of antioxidant activity
The constant 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
radical (DPPH) was used for the determination of
antioxidant activity. A range of concentrations of
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Trop J Pharm Res, November 2014; 13(11):
Table 1: Composition of emulsion (cream) formulations
Emulsion phase
Emulsion base (g)
Extract emulsion (g)
Oily Paraffin oil
Aqueous Extract
Distilled Water (q.s)
plant extract in relevant solvent was added at an
equal volume from 10 to 90 µL of ethanolic
DPPH (100 µM) to a total volume of 100 µL in
96-well plates. The contents were mixed and
incubated for 30 min. The absorbance was
measured at 517 nm. Vitamin C was used as the
standard antioxidant. The experiments were
carried out in triplicates. The decrease in
absorbance means the increase in radical
scavenging activity which was calculated using
equation 1.
SA (%) = {100-(At/Ac)}100 ……………...(1) [8]
where SA is scavenging activity, At is the
absence of test compounds and Ac is the
absence of control.
Depigmentation and antierythemic study
Ten healthy human volunteers (all males) were
chosen whose ages were in between 25 and 40
years. They were examined for any serious skin
disease especially on cheeks and forearms.
Each volunteer was provided with a volunteer
protocol before the study, and signed the terms
and conditions of the testing individually. They
were not informed about the contents of the
formulations. Before application of formulation, a
patch test was performed on forearms of the
volunteers for 48 h to rule out allergic reaction to
any of the contents of the formulation. Each
volunteer on the second day was provided with
the formulation and the volunteers instructed
properly on the application of formulation. Each
individual was instructed to return for
measurements of skin sebum production over a
period of 8 weeks.
Ethical approval
This study was approved by the Board of
Advanced Study and Research (BASR), The
Islamia University of Bahawalpur, and the
institutional ethical committee, Department of
Pharmacy, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur,
Bahawalpur, Pakistan, in compliance with NIH
Principles of Laboratory Animal Care, 1985. The
ethical committee gave a letter of
recommendation for using the humans in this
study, whose reference no. is Pharm 1713.
Burchard (Patch) test
Patch test was done on the forearm of each
volunteer on the first day of skin testing. The
bandage disc (Patch) was saturated with 1 g of
base and 1 g of formulation containing Crocus
sativus extracts and applied on the left and right
forearm of the volunteer, respectively. The patch
covered the area of 5 × 4 cm on the forearm and
after the application of base and formulation it
was then enclosed with the help of surgical
dressing. After 48 h the patch was removed and
the forearm was washed with normal saline
solution after which erythema (redness of skin)
was determined by using score on a scale with 4
points from 0-3, where 0 is for absence of
erythema, 1 for mild erythema, 2 for moderate
erythema and 3 for severe erythema.
Panel test
A proforma sheet was given to every volunteer to
test the sensory values of cream. Seven
parameters; ease of application, spreadability,
sense just after application, sense in long turn,
irritation, shine on skin and sense of softness
were noted in this form for evaluation. Each
parameter was assigned 11 values from –5 to
+5, indicating very bad to very good. Each
volunteer was requested to complete this form
after week 8. Percent change in parameter
values was computed weekly for each volunteer,
as in eq 2.
C (%) = {(A – B)/B}100 …………………..…. (2)
where C is the change, A is the individual value
of any parameter (from 1st to 8th week) and B is
the zero hour value of that parameter
Statistical analysis
The measured values obtained for skin melanin
production and skin erythema (irritation) were
analyzed using SPSS 15.0. Paired sample t-test
was used for the variation between two
preparations and two-way ANOVA for variation
between different time intervals; p < 0.05 was set
as the level of significance.
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Trop J Pharm Res, November 2014; 13(11):
Antioxidant activity of extract
Antioxidant activity of extract with different
solvent was determined. The antioxidant activity
of extract was 81 % using 70 % ethanol. The
result of the patch test is shown in Table 1. No
severe erythema was shown by any volunteer,
mild erythema shown by 1 and 2 volunteer,
moderate erythema was shown by 2 and 3
volunteers and no erythema was shown by 14
and 12 volunteer for both base and formulation,
Skin melanin content
During the in vivo study for 8 weeks, changes in
melanin by the base and formulation were
observed. However, changes in melanin were
not prominent but extract cream enormously
decreased the melanin of skin in 8th weeks.
Statistical analysis showed change in melanin
contents of skin by formulation was highly
significant (p < 0.05) except in 8th week.
Skin erythema level
There were irregular effects of base on erythema
level while formulation decreased the erythema
level steadily in the period of 8 weeks. It was
concluded from results of ANOVA test base
showed insignificant effects with respect to time.
While effects of formulation on skin erythema
were significant with respect to time. A significant
variation was shown with base and formulation
on 4th and 6th weeks, when compared with
paired sample t-test. Erythema contents were
decreased by the formulation due to antioxidant
and anti-inflammatory effects of Crocus sativus,
exhibited by mainly Crocin, β-carotene and
safranal [10]. Antioxidants of Crocus sativus
inhibit the expression of markers of inflammation,
tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)
The patch test of cosmetic preparation is used to
check the compatibility of formulation with the
human skin before its application. In this study no
skin irritation was observed after the application
of formulation on the cheeks of human
volunteers. So this formulation was considered
compatible and relatively safe for human use.
Another important parameter which must be
observed during the formulation of cosmetic
product is that the formulation must have
aesthetic appeal in all aspects of sensory
evaluation. For this purpose panel test was
performed. Panel test was done by both base
and formulation. The calculations of panel test
results showed that the formulation was more
aesthetic in all sensory evaluations than the
The color of skin and protection form UV
radiation is dependent on a pigment known as
melanin present in dermis of skin. Pigmentation
of skin occurred mainly due to increased
melanogensis by melanocytes stimulated by
exposure to UV light [12].
Melanocytes produced melanin in skin as a
mixture of two pigments eumelanin and
phaeomelanin which are (brown black) and (red
yellow) respectively [13]. Melanogenesis is
accomplished by a series of oxidative reactions
controlled by various enzymes. Tyrosinase is the
main catalyst for this phenomenon [14].
During the in vivo study of two months, change in
melanin was observed by base and formulation.
Change in melanin was not prominent in the
base but formulation enormously decreased the
melanin of skin in 8th weeks. The results of
applied statistics showed the insignificant results
of change in melanin by base and significant
results of formulation. Insignificant effects were
shown when base and formulation were tested
with paired sample t-test except in the 8th week,
Table 2: Volunteer’s self-assessment of irritation/itching after the application of base and
formulation (Note: the values indicate number of volunteers)
Absence of
erythema Mild erythema
Cream base 7
Extract cream 8
Table 3: Change (%) in skin melanin content after application of base and formulation (mean ± SEM)
Cream type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 6 Week 8
Cream base -0.30 ± 0.86 -0.39 ± 1.03 -0.25 ± 0.89 1.49 ± 0.67 2.46 ± 0.80 0.97 ± 1.36
Extract cream -3.047 ± 0.81 -5.61 ± 1.29 -10.48 ± 1.75 -14.93 ± 2.63
-19.36 ± 2.40
-24.04 ± 3.23
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Trop J Pharm Res, November 2014; 13(11):
Table 4: Percent (%) change in values of skin erythema after application of base and formulation. Values of skin
erythema (mean ± SEM)
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 6
Week 8
Cream base 6.07 ± 6.05 6.80 ± 6.26 6.01 ± 6.37 6.96 ± 6.86 9.73 ± 8.93 5.35 ± 6.55
Extract cream -2.56 ± 1.26 -4.78 ± 1.22
-5.89 ± 1.30 -8.76 ± 1.24
-11.76 ± 1.11 -13.57 ± 2.28
The results of formulation were significant due to
presence of strong antioxidants in it. Antioxidant
activity is mainly exhibited by monoterpenoids,
crocin, quercetin, kaempferol, and by other
phenolic components of Crocus sativus. The
mode of action of these compounds to reduce
skin melanin is by inhibiting the activity of
tyrosinase [15].
Cosmetics are safe if, no kind of contact
dermatitis is seen after their application to skin.
Contact dermatitis not only causes but is an
active part of cosmetics. Environmental
conditions, temperature humidity and consumer
misuse are also vital factors for contact
dermatitis. Skin is irritated by chemicals due to
their toxic effects to skin cells and blood vessels.
During this study of two months, changes in
erythema by base and formulation were
observed. It was found to be irregular effects of
base on erythema level. On the other hand,
formulation decreased the erythema level
regularly in the period of two months.
Insignificant effects with respect to time, while
effects of formulation on erythema were
significant with respect to time. A significant
variation was shown with base and formulation
on 4th and 6th weeks, when compared with
paired sample t-test. The formulation brought
about a significant decrease in erythema.
Therefore, formulation would safe to skin and is
unlikely to cause any significant irritation to skin.
The decrease in erythema by the formulation is
likely due to the antioxidant and anti-
inflammatory effects of compounds in Crocus
sativus, mainly Crocin, picrocrocin, β- carotene
and safranal. Antioxidants of saffron inhibit the
expression of markers of inflammation tumor
necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL).
A cream formulation containing Crocus sativus
extract has significant depigmentation and anti-
erythema effects on human skin due apparently
to reduced melanin and erythema levels in the
skin. Crocus sativus exhibits skin depigmentation
effect due probably to the presence of strong
antioxidants in the plant.
The authors thank the Vice-Chancellor and the
Chairman of the Department of Pharmacy, The
Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur
Pakistan for their moral support.
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... Helpful in the management of melanoma [50] 12 ...
... He is serving as editorial board member of some national and international journals and life member of several scientific organizations. D dermal inflammation, 36 dibenzoylmethane, 159, 160, 186, 226 distribution of carotenoid in human, 40 diversification,120 DOPA,234,285,290,291 drometrizole trisiloxane,165 E ecosystem,106,117,196,226,226 edema,36,115,153 elastase,68 enzymes,v,viii,14,15,16,33,34,40,53,58,59,60,61,62,63,67,68,70,71,72,73,75,78,87,95,115,119,133,139,140,155,179,212,213,214,227,237,245,246,247,252,254,284,301 epidermal hyperplasia,163,165 equol,176,194,199,247,305 erythema,36,37,40,114,115,119,123,153,155,174,188,253,255,256,260,264,265,293,298,299,303 ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate,160,182,205 euhalothece,4,27,102,134,135,147,150,4,27,102,135,150,232 eumelanin,234,283,284,286,290,291 Index 313 exfoliants, 53, 63 F flavonoids, viii, 11, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 192, 193, 246, 247, 249, 254, 255, 264, 280, 281, 295, 297, 299, 301, 307 fluorescence, 3, 22, 80, 91, 92, 94 formulation, 55, 59, 65, 67, 69, 73, 76, 94, 114, 118, 155, 167, 168, 170, 173, 174, 179, 182, 186, 187, 188, 192, 258, 265, 270, 302, 305, 306, 307 free radicals, 8, 19, 31, 60, 114, 157, 165, 169, 173, 174, 176, 179, 234, 245, 246, 248, 252, 256, 260, 264, 266, 271, 273, 294, 297, 299, 301 G gadusol, 111 genes, 5,6,7,9,11,14,16,27,37,45,59,84,86,116,133,135,136,137,140,147,150,179,210,211,212,213,215,216,218,220,233,271,289 genotoxicity,191,226 gloeocapsa,18,20,134,135,143,146,148,219 gloeosapsin,18 glycoside,2,15,18,23,70,141,173,176,263 glycosylated MAAs,4,134,142,207 glyoxalase 1,33 green sunscreens,171 H helioguard,115,117,118,178,179,201,208 helionori,117,118,201,208 helioplex,161 herbal cosmeceuticals,191,298,302 hesperetin,172,176,193 homogentisic acid,234,285 homosalate,159,162,189,205 hydrophobic interactions,89 I inflammation, 18,36,38,50,116,128,172,188,196,209,226,247,248,252,257,263,266,298,302,303 inorganic UV filters,156,157,158,166,168,169,181,191,195,249 irradiance,11,105,125,150,180,209,214,233,288 J jojoba oil, 172, 177 K keratinocytes, 38,115,118,122,175,190,198,199,218,226,242,250,260,263,294,300,305,306 L leptolyngbya, 37, 91, 134, 137 lipases, 63, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 lyngbya, 11, 25, 42, 49, 51, 82, 98, 134, 138, 143, 148, 193, 213, 281, 292 M Index 317 W wrinkling, 36,42,202,300 Z zinc oxide, 32,157,160,166,167,169,183,186,191,192,193,195,204,225,226,242,267,299,304 ...
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is responsible for different skin diseases and allergic reactions. Synthetic sunscreens are widely used to protect the skin in the intense UV environments. Different synthetic molecules are being used as active ingredients in the commercial sunscreens, however, few of them are reported to cause toxicity to humans and ecosystems. Regulatory bodies like USFDA and European Commission have issued a guideline for the safe use of active chemical ingredients in the commercial sunscreens. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in the screening of safe and efficacious natural molecules having potential photoprotective properties. This chapter presents a scientific summary to emphasize the possible use of certain microbial metabolites as active ingredients in the commercial sunscreens.
... Some other studies covered a period of 8 weeks. The 3% Crocus sativus extract was applied to cheeks and forearms by 10 volunteers [129] and 68.6% Aster yomena extract was applied to the face by 22 participants [130]. The effect on humans facial skin of a single compound isolated from Pterocarpus marsupium, called pterostilbene and administered at 0.4% concentration was evaluated in 38 participants for 8 weeks [131]. ...
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The kingdom of plants as a “green biofabric” of valuable bioactive molecules has long been used in many ailments. Currently, extracts and pure compounds of plant origin are used to aid in pigmentation skin problems by influencing the process of melanogenesis. Melanin is a very important pigment that protects human skin against ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stress. It is produced by a complex process called melanogenesis. However, disturbances in the melanogenesis mechanism may increase or decrease the level of melanin and generate essential skin problems, such as hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Accordingly, inhibitors or activators of pigment formation are desirable for medical and cosmetic industry. Such properties may be exhibited by molecules of plant origin. Therefore, that literature review presents reports on plant extracts, pure compounds and compositions that may modulate melanin production in living organisms. The potential of plants in the therapy of pigmentation disorders has been highlighted.
... A recent study from Iranian researchers used aspirin coated with licorice and found that it helped protect against ulcers induced by aspirin, reducing the size and number of ulcers [18] . Rudhiradravya is very useful in acne and pimple prone skin and thus, reduces pigmentation over skin.NaveedAkhtar concluded that A cream formulation containing Crocussativus extract has significant depigmentation & antierythema effects on human skin due to apparently reduced melanin & erythema levels in the skin [19] .Two clinical trials had established antipruritic & complexion promotion effects of saffron [20] . ...
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Blood being one among the seven tissues has its significant role in regulating the function of all vital organs and giving life to individuals. Without proper quantity and quality of blood, the body cannot remain healthy. The fourth chapter of Charaka samhita ie related to fifty various groups. In each group, 10 herbs are included having common action. Shonita sthapaka mahakashaya is pronounced for action related to restoring the normalcy of blood. Shonita sthapaka mahakashaya is very specific and only mahakashaya in which only 5 medicines of herbal origin, one metallic compound, one jantav dravya and two byproducts and Mrutkapala. Shonitasthapakaa gana included actions like Raktashodhana [haemostatic], Raktastambhana [ blood coagulation], Raktavilayaka [blood thinning], Raktavardhanaa [ haemopoitic]. Rakta and pitta dosha are the same in nature, so Rakta is mainly vitiated by pitta dosha. Thus, dravyas included in Shonitasthapaka gana have pittashamak properties. So, according to different conditions of Raktavikara [disorders related to blood], we can categorize Shonitasthapaka dravyas in treatment.
... The formulation also exhibited moisturising properties. Saffron cream has been reported to exhibit significant depigmentation effect in a study done by Akhtar et al. (2014). Dried stigma was extracted using maceration and this extract was used to formulate a cream. ...
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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced as a result of various environmental factors and cellular metabolism reactions creating oxidative stress. The reversible oxidative modification on proteins such as cysteine oxidation may be useful and can play positive role. ROS generated offer some benefits such as cellular signalling and tissue repair when present in low concentration. However, most of the times, these reactive species cause detrimental effects to cell components which leads to various pathological conditions which causes or aggravates diseases due to oxidative stress. The degenerative diseases due to oxidative stress are diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy , cancer and aging. Antioxidants are the compounds which scavenge these free radicals and hence neutralize their effects. Research has enabled the use of natural antioxidants as therapeutic agent in the treatment of diseases. Safranal is one such natural agent which is a major volatile component of saffron. Saffron, Red gold is the most expensive spice found in limited region of the planet and is also reported to be used in traditional systems of medicine. Chemically, safranal is a monoterpene aldehyde possessing a sweet fragrance. While exploring for the photoprotective properties of safranal, we learnt about the immense antioxidant potential of safranal. Investigation by various research groups established safranal as an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anti-asthamatic, antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, anticancer and antitussive and antigenotoxic agent. It has brought researchers over the world to explore the antioxidant benefits of saffron for human health. In the present paper, potential of safranal and its related molecules as radical scavenger in combating oxidative stress, diseased conditions is collated and the underlying mechanisms have been explained. Various cell lines and animal models used for study of Safranal have been discussed.
... Helpful in the management of melanoma [50] 12 ...
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Herbs are being used in skin care and therapeutics from centuries. Their ingredients including bioactive phytochemicals have been widely used in sunscreens, moisturizers, and anti-aging lotions. Sunscreens have enhanced photo-protection activity when they contain bioactive components including vitamins such as A, C and E, flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, hydroxy and phenolic acids. Herbal formulations in sunscreens or skin care products are used to repair or hide skin imperfections such as wrinkles and dark circles, and also for soothing and cooling of the skin. Their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activities help to treat acne. Some herbal constituents with strong antioxidant properties inhibit the formation of free radicals and counterbalance reactive oxygen species (ROS). Regular exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause sunburns, rashes, premature aging of the skin, oxidative stress, DNA damage and cancer. In order to avoid these undesired effects, the protection from UV ray exposure and prevention from its harmful effects are desired. The chemical-based products may cause allergy and contact dermatitis, while natural or herbal products are generally non-toxic and biodegradable. Also, nanoformulation of herbal components may effectively be absorbed to layers of skin cells to sustained and prolonged effects. Herein, different types of herbs with active components that could serve as a photoprotectant against harmful UV rays are discussed.
... Bellis Perennis L. plant is known to reduce the activity of tyrosinase and is recommended to be used in skin-lightening cosmetics and in case of pigmentation disorders, hyperpigmentation or age spots [41]. Many other plant extracts are used as skin-whitening products such as Crocus sativus extract [42], Licorice extract [4], and Japanese Angelica extract [4]. Artocarpuslakoocha has been tested in vivo and has shown great promise for use in cosmetics [43]. ...
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Several compounds and vegetable extracts are known to have an anti-tyrosinase activity. The secondary metabolites of plants contain a large number of such compounds with anti-tyrosinase properties. The chemical components sought in the selected plants are flavonoids, phenols, tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, coumarins and sterols. This study’s principal aim is to test anti-tyrosinase activity on mushroom tyrosinase for 15 extracts derived from 6 plants which grow in Senegal: Moringa oleifera (Lam.), Combretum micranthum (G. Don), Euphorbia hirta (L.), Balanites aegyptiaca (Delile), Anacardium occidentale (L.), Adansonia digitata (L.). The majority of these extracts contain all the identified families of molecules. With the exception of B. aegyptiaca the plants showed inhibition percentages greater than 90 % with certain extracts at 2% or 5%. The results of inhibition tests on mushroom tyrosinase for these plants have been reported for the first time in this article with the exception of A. occidentale.
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Background With an increasing number of patients, those who are facing a lot of skin-related complaints, often referred to as skin of pigmentation patients, are on the rise. Among all the most common complaints in patients with skin of color is hyperpigmentation. So, there is need of herbal formulation for treatment of hyperpigmentation. Main body This review article addresses the different types of hyperpigmentation, causes, and its treatment with herbs for the management of the skin hyperpigmentation. As uneven pigmentation of skin or hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition, which occurs when the skin produces more melanin. This can make spots or patches of skin appear darker than surrounding areas. Some forms of hyperpigmentation with post-inflammatory, melasma, and sun spots are more likely to affect areas of face, arms, and legs due to sun exposure and injury. Although the availability of multiple treatments for the condition which leads to some adverse effects, hyperpigmentation continues to present skin care management challenges for dermatologists. Conclusion Some plants and phytoconstituents, e.g., Azadirachta indica , Glycyrrhiza glabra , Panax ginseng and genistein, ellagic acids, quercetin, are very useful in herbal cosmetic as anti-hyperpigmentry agents in cosmetic industries. Some of flavonoids and triterpenoids present in plants also show their effect as antioxidant and skin whitening agents. It is expected that this review will compile and improve the existing knowledge on the potential utilization of herbs for the treatment of skin hyperpigmentation.
Background: Antioxidants are widely used in cosmetic products as they have beneficial effects on skin and prevent skin from harmful effects of environment. Albizia lebbeck has a significant potential to be used in cosmeceuticals due to its antioxidant activity. Objectives: The aim of this study was to formulate a stable and effective o/w emulsion based emulgel containing Albizia lebbeck bark extract which have considerable antioxidant activity. Methodology: Antioxidant activity of Albizia lebbeck bark extract was determined by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) method. Emulgel containing 3% extract was developed by mixing o/w emulsion in Carbopol gel alongwith a placebo emulgel without extract (base). In-vitro evaluation of these emulgels i.e. liquefaction, color, phase separation, centrifugation and pH change; were carried out for a period of 8 weeks at different storage conditions i.e., 8ºC, 25ºC, 40ºC and 40ºC & 75 % relative humidity (RH). In-vivo evaluation of emulgels was carried out on 13 healthy female volunteers by measuring various parameters of skin i.e. melanin level, erythema level, moisture content, sebum content and elasticity at regular time intervals after applying emulgel (both base and test formulation) for 8 weeks. Results: Antioxidant activity of Albizia lebbeck bark extract was 84.7%. Both emulgels (base and test formulation) were stable at all storage conditions. Statistical analysis showed that test formulation produced significant effects (p<0.05) on melanin, erythema level, moisture content, sebum level and elasticity of skin. Conclusion: It can be concluded that a stable topical emulgel containing 3% Albizia lebbeck bark extract has significant antioxidant effects on human skin.
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This study was designed to develop a topical skin-care cream water in oil (w/o) emulsion of 3% cucumber extracts versus its vehicle (Base) as control and evaluates its effects on skin-melanin, skin erythema, skin moisture, skin sebum and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Hydroalcoholıc cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit extract was entrapped in the inner aqueous phase of w/o emulsion. Base containing no extract and a formulation containing 3% concentrated extract of C. sativus was formulated. The odour was adjusted with few drops of lemon oil. Both the base and formulation were stored at different storage conditions for a period of 4 weeks to predict their stability. Different stability parameters that is: Physical stability, centrifugation and pH were monitored at different time intervals. Both the base and formulation were applied to the cheeks of 21 healthy human volunteers for a period of 4 weeks. The expected pharmaceutical stability of creams was achieved from 4 weeks in vitro study period. Odour disappeared with passage of time due to volatilization of lemon oil. The base showed insignificant (p > > > > 0.05) effects on all skin parameters except sebum that was not significant, whereas the formulation showed statistically significant (p0.05) effects on skin sebum secretion. TEWL and erythema was increased while skin melanin and skin hydration level was decreased by formulation. However these effects were statistically insignificant (p > > > > 0.05). The results showed a good stability over 4 weeks of observation period of both base and formulation and the formulation has anti sebum secretion, bleaching and moisturizing effects.
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The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of saffron as a natural sunscreen and moisturizer. The pollens of the saffron were dried and powdered in a grinder. The experimental formulations included a homosalate (8%) lotion reference, lotions with 2, 4 and 8% of grinded saffron, and the control lotion base without saffron. The lotions containing saffron were prepared like homosalate lotion reference according to FDA. The sun protection factors (SPFs) of the formulations were determined by an in vitro spectrophotometry method. The moisture contents of the skin before application and after 30 min and 3, 5 and 7 h post-application of the formulations were measured in human volunteers using Corneometer. The results indicated that, there was no significant difference between the SPF values of the 4% saffron lotion and the homosalate lotion reference. However, the SPF of 8% saffron lotion was significantly more than that of homosalate lotion reference. These results showed that in equal concentrations saffron lotion could act as a better antisolar agent compared to homosalate. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in skin moisture saffron lotions and the control lotion without saffron during the 7 h post-application period. Saffron can be used as a natural UV absorbing agent. The 4% saffron lotion showed an SPF value equivalent to the 8% homosalate lotion reference by an in vitro method. There were no significant differences of skin moisture contents after application of the saffron lotions and the control base lotion without saffron.
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A flavonol, kaempferol, isolated from the fresh flower petals of C. sativus L. (Iridaceae) as the sole component. The structure of the compound was determined by chemical and spectroscopic methods.
The reputation of growing saffron is about 2500 years. Apparently saffron originally comes from Greece and Mediterranean region. There are some researchers who believe that origin of this plant comes from Iran. Iran is considered to be one of the greatest producers of saffron and nearly 90% of production of saffron is produced in Iran. There are varieties of chemical components present in the stigma of the saffron plant. These chemical components include carbohydrates, minerals, mucilage, vitamins such as riboflavin and thiamine, color pigments such as crocin, anthocyanin, carotene, lycopene, Zeaxanthin and aromatic terpenic essence called "safranal" and flavoring substances such as picrocrocin. Crocin (C 44 H 64 O 24) is the most influential chemical in the coloring of saffron. Other than crocin, saffron is also made up of free aglycone crocin and a small number of anthocyanin pigments. The oil soluble color pigments include lycopene, alpha carotene, beta carotene and Zeaxanthin. Today, based on growing and effective applications of saffron in medical fields and in alternative medicine, it has attracted the attention of many researchers. Saffron may substitute chemical medicines. Some medical properties of saffron are as follows: helps digestion, strengthens the stomach and is anti-tympanites, activates the sexual desire, is analgesic, especially for colicky pains gingivitis, fights tumors and collection of free radicals (thus reacting against cancerous cells), is euphoriant and alleviates neuralgia, is a tranquilizer, cures insomnia, strengthens memory power, improve concentration, reacts against spasm, fights depression, the Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, controls blood pressure disorders, lowers high cholesterol levels, cures iron deficiency (anemia) in girls, reduces chances of such heart diseases as arteriosclerosis, and helps improve heart conditions (due to the presence of thiamin, riboflavin and mineral components), cures respiratory disorders such as asthma, cough, influenza and cold, helps blood circulation in the retina, cures macula lutea and retinopathy ischemic caused by old age. Cures rheumatism and bruises when used externally, cures amebic dysentery, measles, and inflammation of the liver, splenomegaly and urogenital infections. The application of saffron in cancer-treatment experiments performed on laboratory animals has proved successful.
UV radiation is widely considered as a major cause of skin pigmentation. Upon exposure to UV radiation, the melanocytes increase the production of intracellular nitric oxide, which triggers signal transduction cascades to initiate melanogenesis by tyrosi-nase. UV radiation also influences melanogenesis through a paracrine regulation process involving the keratinocytes. Although a number of hypopigmenting products have been developed, those from natural sources are preferred and will predominate in the cosmetics market. More active compounds such as phenols, flavonoids, coumarins and other derivatives have been identified from natural sources. This article summarized natural skin whitening products involving tyrosinase blockers like phenols and polyphenols, and non-tyrosinase blockers like α-MSH, melanosome transferase and cytokine inhibitors. In addition, the skin-whitening effects and the mechanisms of these natural products were also reviewed. Most of the compounds achieve the hypopigmenting effect by inhibit-ing tyrosinase; however, some interesting compounds blocking the upstream regulation points of melanogenesis are extraordinarily promising for developing novel whitening agents.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of pollen of saffron extract cream in the treatment of thermal induced burn wounds and to compare its results with silver sulfadiazine (SSD) in rats. Animals were divided into four groups and administrated a topical cream including control, base, saffron (20%) or SSD (1%) at 24 hour after a burn injury that was induced by hot water. In special days, according to a pre-planned schedule, animal's weight, wound size, as well as skin histo-pathology were determined in different groups under topical treatments. On day 25, average size of wound was 5.5, 4, 0.9 and 4.1 cm2 in control, base, saffron and silver groups. The wound size of saffron group was significantly smaller than other groups. Histological comparison has shown that saffron significantly increased re-epithelialization in burn wounds, as compared to other cream-treated wounds. Although the exact mechanism of saffron is unclear, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of saffron may have contributed to the wound healing. The results of this study raise the possibility of potential efficacy of saffron in accelerating wound healing in burn injuries.
The research and development of cosmeceuticals is booming in recent years. Many substances, either from botanical, animal, or chemically synthesized sources, are tested or investigated as the active ingredients in cosmeceuticals. The interactions between cosmeceuticals and skin are complex, depending on the specific composites in cosmeceutical products, condition of the skin or general health status of a subject, and the environment where the action occurs. As such, careful preclinical or clinical evaluation of efficacy and safety is a prerequisite for the development of a specific cosmeceutical product. This article reviews some of the ingredients that are currently in use or might be potential candidates in cosmeceuticals of different categories.
Cultured melanocytes originating from persons with different skin phototypes were utilized for measurement of endonuclease sensitive sites induced by UVB and the determination of cell survival after UVA or UVB irradiation. During culture, the melanocytes largely maintained their phenotypic characteristics according to their original skin phototype. Total melanin concentrations were 4.9 times higher in the darker skin phototype (IV-VI) melanocytes when compared to the cells from lighter skin phototypes (I-III). Also phaeomelanin contents were higher (2.5 times) in the skin phototype (IV-VI) melanocytes which implies that the cells from light skin types contain less melanin, but a relatively high proportion of phaeomelanin. After UVB irradiation a stronger induction of endonuclease sensitive sites was found for melanocytes with a lower level of total melanin and a high content of pheomelanin. By measuring the clone forming ability in different melanocyte cultures after UVB irradiation, significant better survival was found in case of the cells with the higher melanin content. Despite the large variations in melanin content, no significant difference in survival after UVA irradiation could be demonstrated in this way. Our results suggest a protective effect of melanin for UVB and indicate the importance of the measurements of melanin content and composition when different parameters of UV-induced damage are studied in melanin producing cells.
Five new naturally occurring monoterpenoids, crocusatins-A (1), -B (2a), -C (3), -D (4a) -E (5), a new lactate, sodium (2S)-(O-hydroxyphenyl)lactate (6), and eighteen known compounds were isolated and characterized from the pollen of Crocus sativus L. The tyrosinase inhibitory activities of these compounds were also discussed.
The skin is the main target tissue for exogenous noxes, protecting us from harmful environmental hazards, UV-irradiation and endogenous water loss. It is composed of three layers, whereas the outermost epidermis is a squamous epithelium that mainly consists of keratinocytes. These cells execute a terminal differentiation, which finally results in the assembly of the stratum corneum. This layer, consisting of cornified keratinocytes, is an effective barrier against a vast number of substances. Apart of this, keratinocytes play crucial roles in the immune surveillance and the initiation, modulation and regulation of inflammation in the epidermis. Regarding cutaneous inflammatory reactions, skin irritation is one of the most common adverse effect in humans. For reasons of human safety assessment new chemicals are still evaluated for irritant potentials by application to animals followed by visible changes such as erythema and oedema. Testing for skin irritation in animals potentially cause them pain and discomfort. Furthermore, the results are not always predictive for those found in humans. In order to replace animal testing and to improve the prediction of irritants, the cosmetic and toiletry industry, in Europe represented by Colipa, develops and uses several alternative in vitro test systems. In this respect, the use of in vitro reconstructed organotypic skin equivalents are mostly favored, because of their increasingly close resemblance to human skin. Due to ethical and scientific questions and on account of the 7th amendment of the European Council Directive 76/768/EEC, the authors see the requirement to drive the development of alternative tests for irritants. Therefore, this article centres on cosmetic ingredients and provides the readership an overview of the state of art of cellular mechanisms of skin irritation and summarizes the results of the commonly used skin equivalents to evaluate irritation in vitro.